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Creamy Carbonara Pasta with Shiitake Bacon | vegan and gluten-free
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5 from 9 votes

Creamy Carbonara Pasta with Shiitake Bacon | vegan, gf

This vegan, gluten-free creamy carbonara pasta with shiitake bacon is everything carbonara pasta should be. It's rich, bacon-y, salty, comforting, peppered, and satisfying.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Entrée, Pasta
Servings: 4 -6


For the Shiitake Bacon

  • 2 ½ cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (make sure you de-stem them before slicing)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • teaspoon smoke salt (can substitute more sea salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Hemp Seed Parmesan

  • ¼ cup hemp hearts
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or to taste

For the Creamy Carbonara Pasta

  • 3 ½ cups peeled and sliced zucchini (about 3 medium zucchini)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¾ cup plain almond or rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • ½-3/4 teaspoon sea salt OR ½ teaspoon sea salt + ¼ teaspoon kala namak (i.e., black salt) or truffle salt (for an egg-like taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces brown rice linguine, cooked according to package instructions*


  • fresh parsley, chopped


To Make the Shiitake Bacon

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Add the shiitakes, olive oil, smoke salt, sea salt, and black pepper to the pan. Toss to thoroughly coat.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning and flipping every 5-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from oven and transfer the shiitake bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pat off excess oil and let cool.

To Make the Hemp Parmesan

  • Add the hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, and sea salt to a food processor. Process for 1-2 minutes and transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To Make the Carbonara Pasta

  • Turn the oven up to 400F.
  • Add the zucchini, garlic, shallots, and olive oil to a pan. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through baking.
  • Add the roasted zucchini mixture to a blender along with the nutritional yeast, almond or rice milk, white wine vinegar, arrowroot powder, sea salt + black/truffle salt, and black pepper. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisk continuously for 3-4 minutes until thickened.
  • Add the cooked linguine to a large serving bowl. Pour the creamy sauce over top and toss to coat, adding in the pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.
  • Divide between bowls, and top with the hemp seed parmesan, shiitake bacon, and fresh parsley.
  • Serve.


*Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water after cooking